The girl was left to hang for several minutes, facing downward from the fifth floor, while laying across and holding onto three metal bars.
The footage was caught on June 18 in Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu Province, China.
Police said in an official statement that the father, surnamed Kong, was disciplining the girl.
A female eyewitness, whose last name is Dai, saw the father hanging the girl outside and recorded it on her phone. Later, she posted a summary of what she saw on a forum, titled “How Can One’s Heart Tolerate?” Below is an English translation of her post which was originally in Chinese.
Tonight just before 5:30, while passing through the southern gate of the [censored] housing area in Runzhou District on Zhufang Road, [I] was startled by a heart-wrenching shriek.
I followed the sound—there was a father who had put his daughter on the clothes hanger outside the balcony. When [I] saw this, I immediately pulled out my phone and shot a short video.
I had wanted to record until the parent pulled the child back in, but I was seen by the parent, and he shouted at me, frightening me. I only recorded a few short seconds.
However, these few seconds, to a child, could be a fatal wound. What would happen if the child wasn’t holding on firmly? They were four or five stories up. I really dare not think.
Fortunately, after about one to two more minutes, the parent pulled the child back inside. I truly hope that this parent can acknowledge the fault in his behavior, after all, kids are just kids.
Jiangsu News contacted Dai the next day. She said that the girl faced downwards as she laid on three metal bars that are used for hanging clothes outside. Dai confirmed that it was the fifth floor, over 33 feet (10 meters) high.
The police essentially took no action against the father, despite the footage of his behavior. One unnamed police officer told the Beijing Times that related departments are involved in the issue, and that the father received “harsh criticism.”
The actual meaning of the police’s comment is that the case will be buried in bureaucracy and Kong was let off with only a verbal warning.
Most popular comments on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, gently criticized the police response. However, any direct criticism of the police in China may lead to an arrest of the individual.
User “Petal VV” simply cited two laws followed by angry emojis: “Child protection laws, domestic violence laws.”
Another user, named “Seven Shows Final Disciple” simply commented with several question marks, followed by “[you] didn’t arrest him?”
One person commented on the poor parenting method: “Simple and cruel discipline usually will have an opposite result.”